Harry J. Paarsch

After initial appointments at the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario, Harry J. Paarsch held the position of Professor of Economics and Robert Jensen Research Fellow in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa and subsequently Chair in Economics at the University of Melbourne. From 2011 to 2014, he worked as an applied economist and data scientist for Amazon.com.

  • A Gentle Introduction to Effective Computing in Quantitative Research

    A Gentle Introduction to Effective Computing in Quantitative Research

    What Every Research Assistant Should Know

    Harry J. Paarsch and Konstantin Golyaev

    A practical guide to using modern software effectively in quantitative research in the social and natural sciences.

    This book offers a practical guide to the computational methods at the heart of most modern quantitative research. It will be essential reading for research assistants needing hands-on experience; students entering PhD programs in business, economics, and other social or natural sciences; and those seeking quantitative jobs in industry. No background in computer science is assumed; a learner need only have a computer with access to the Internet. Using the example as its principal pedagogical device, the book offers tried-and-true prototypes that illustrate many important computational tasks required in quantitative research. The best way to use the book is to read it at the computer keyboard and learn by doing.

    The book begins by introducing basic skills: how to use the operating system, how to organize data, and how to complete simple programming tasks. For its demonstrations, the book uses a UNIX-based operating system and a set of free software tools: the scripting language Python for programming tasks; the database management system SQLite; and the freely available R for statistical computing and graphics. The book goes on to describe particular tasks: analyzing data, implementing commonly used numerical and simulation methods, and creating extensions to Python to reduce cycle time. Finally, the book describes the use of LaTeX, a document markup language and preparation system.

    • Hardcover $49.00 £38.00
  • Auctions


    Timothy P. Hubbard and Harry J. Paarsch

    How auctions work, in theory and practice, with clear explanations and real-world examples that range from government procurement to eBay.

    Although it is among the oldest of market institutions, the auction is ubiquitous in today's economy, used for everything from government procurement to selling advertising on the Internet to course assignment at MIT's Sloan School. And yet beyond the small number of economists who specialize in the subject, few people understand how auctions really work. This concise, accessible, and engaging book explains both the theory and the practice of auctions. It describes the main auction formats and pricing rules, develops a simple model to explain bidder behavior, and provides a range of real-world examples.

    The authors explain what constitutes an auction and how auctions can be modeled as games of asymmetric information—that is, games in which some players know something that other players do not. They characterize behavior in these strategic situations and maintain a focus on the real world by illustrating their discussions with examples that include not just auctions held by eBay and Sotheby's, but those used by Google, the U.S. Treasury, TaskRabbit, and charities. Readers will begin to understand how economists model auctions and how the rules of the auction shape bidder incentives. They will appreciate the role auctions play in our modern economy and understand why these selling mechanisms are so resilient.

    • Paperback $15.95 £11.95
  • An Introduction to the Structural Econometrics of Auction Data

    An Introduction to the Structural Econometrics of Auction Data

    Harry J. Paarsch and Han Hong

    An introductory treatment that integrates and evaluates recent advances in the field by providing a common notation and a simple theoretical model within which to identify and to estimate commonly-encountered auction models.

    This text, intended for both graduate students and professional researchers, is an effective, concise introduction to the structural econometrics of auctions. Tools from recent developments in theoretical econometrics are combined with established numerical methods to provide a practical guide to most of the main concepts in the empirical analysis of field data from auctions. Among other things, the text is remarkable for a large number of mathematical problems and computer exercises for which sample solutions are provided at the end of the book. In the case of the computer exercises, sample code written in Matlab provides a ready-made toolbox that allows readers to implement many existing empirical specifications efficiently.

    In the first two chapters, the authors introduce several important issues in the analysis of field data from auctions and then go on to develop a simple theoretical model within the independent, private-values paradigm. In the third chapter, under several data-generating schemes, the authors outline empirical methods for analyzing data from single-unit Vickrey and English auctions, while in the fourth chapter, they outline methods for analyzing data from single-unit, Dutch, and first-price sealed-bid auctions. In the fifth chapter, the authors discuss theoretical issues important in the analysis of multi-good auctions, focusing on the analysis of multi-unit auctions, and then provide examples of some recent strategies designed to analyze data from these auctions. Included at the end are a number of appendixes that review the technical tools required in developing the topics treated in the text. A CD-ROM containing sample computer code and data sets accompanies the text.

    • Hardcover $50.00 £40.00